Beijing (English) - - INFO -

On Sep­tem­ber 5 and 6, Bei­jing For­eign Stud­ies Univer­sity (BFSU) held an in­ter­na­tional aca­demic sym­po­sium to com­mem­o­rate the 400th an­niver­sary of the death of Span­ish sinologist Diego de Pantoja (1571–1618). The sym­po­sium re-ex­am­ined Pantoja’s pi­o­neer­ing role in fa­cil­i­tat­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween China and western coun­tries and ex­pressed ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the cul­tural her­itage he left be­hind. Ex­perts and schol­ars in the fields of his­tory and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions at­tended the sym­po­sium.

The doc­u­men­tary film Pantoja and China, writ­ten by Ana Fernán­dez de Fran­cisco and pro­duced by the Cer­vantes In­sti­tute, pre­miered dur­ing the sym­po­sium to recog­nise this out­stand­ing sinologist. Af­ter the film, renowned schol­ars, ex­perts and re­searchers from China, Spain and Latin Amer­ica an­swered jour­nal­ists’ ques­tions. Glo­ria Minguez, the cul­tural coun­sel­lor with the Span­ish Em­bassy to China; BFSU rep­re­sen­ta­tives; and Inma González Puy, di­rec­tor of the Bei­jing Cer­vantes In­sti­tute, all at­tended the event.

The Year of Pantoja was cre­ated to com­mem­o­rate the death of this em­i­nent sinologist 400 years ago. For a long time, Pantoja’s work in cul­tural com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween China and the West, and in in­tro­duc­ing China to the West, has been over­looked. How­ever, his life truly marked a mile­stone in the his­tory of sinol­ogy and opened up new re­search di­rec­tions for those who came af­ter him.

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